I am heartbroken. I am in a fog. I couldn't bear having to sit there with Ken and watch the news come in Tuesday night, because I knew that this was a very real possibility. I went out to meet friends and I tried to talk about anything but the election. I couldn't stay up to watch the results because I was racked by anxiety and then when I woke up and heard the news, I felt defeated. I already tend to be pessimistic about American politics, and this made me feel even more hopeless. And yes, it wasn't by popular vote, but I couldn't fight the nagging feeling that this might be what the majority of Americans want. And it made me feel terribly sad.
I wasn't shocked, I was utterly disappointed. The fact that he got this far meant that he had a chance of winning, I was just really hoping he wouldn't.
It isn't just about the politics - like I said, I was disillusioned even before this all got started. And it's not even about Trump - even though everything about him hits every nerve for me - he is just one man. It's about what he represents, it's the fact that this win might encourage and empower a certain type of person who spews racism, xenophobia, bigotry, misogyny...and disregards facts and logic. It's because we live in a culture where he can do and say whatever he wants, and not only does he NOT get consequences, but he gets elected president. And our kids are watching.
This all is still very emotional for me and I still feel both angry and muted. It makes me not want to interact with anyone. It makes me want to judge people. But I know...that makes me no better than those very people who I judge because of their intolerance to differences. I don't know if I'm at the point yet of accepting this, but today is better than it was yesterday. I want to get there. I want to get to the place of understanding someone who genuinely believes that Trump was the best choice for this country for all the people. I'm working on it.
Because we have to work together. We have to pay attention and make connections and really listen to each other. That's how we got ourselves into this kind of election year in the first place, by not listening and retreating instead into our little pockets.
What has been helping me is listening and reading intelligent people articulate their reaction, fears, and next steps. There are a lot of people who I respect who have written vulnerable, intelligent, hopeful and practical articles about this new reality, and it helps me. It helps to remember that there are very smart, reasonable, and experienced people in the government. That there is such a thing as midterm elections in two years. And another presidential election in four. That just as many times as he has said something horrible, there were voices that spoke up against it. That most of the people that I know are fighting for positive change. That we live in a democracy and that different voices really matter. That good can come out of this somehow. That we still have the ability to do the best we can, where we are, and continue to be kind to each other. That we still have a lot of work to do. That love does not fail. I'm clinging.
These photos are from last weekend, on a Sunday afternoon after a really great weekend with family and friends. I was feeling particularly peaceful and at ease, achey in a way that means my soul is nourished, and we spent the last few hours of sunlight daylight outside watching Ken shoot around, Sloane, Logan and Rusty prancing around him.
I'm still processing all of it. I'm reading, praying, and having conversations with friends and family.
I'm disoriented and that's making me take time to orient myself. I want to be even more informed and knowledgeable about the world and what I believe in, especially how my faith shapes my worldview. And a big part of this orientation includes putting a lot of thought and care into how I will talk about these things with our kids. Even though this is not how I initially felt - I am glad to be a parent during this time. It keeps me accountable and humble in a way that feels like grace.
"Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you. Love her, and she will watch over you." - Proverbs 4:6